Low Booster Uptake Means Testing Critical As Winter Looms Ahead

Low Booster Uptake Common Concern

A review of COVID-19 news stories this year reveals consistent concern over relatively low COVID-19 vaccine booster uptake among the U.S. population. Article after article laments poor response to booster campaigns since the CDC began widely recommending them. The Kaiser Family Foundation has maintained the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor throughout the pandemic, which is, “…an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. Using a combination of surveys and qualitative research, the Monitor tracks the dynamic nature of public opinion as vaccine development and distribution unfold, including vaccine confidence and acceptance, information needs, trusted messengers and messages, as well as the public’s experiences with vaccination.” To view the Monitor dashboard, click here. Particularly regarding boosters, the research reveals significant booster hesitancy by parents and adults overall. Misinformation, conflicting statements and actions, general suspicion, political propaganda, and poorly executed communication campaigns have together impacted the rate of booster uptake among both children (via their parents) and adults.

Ripple Effect Widespread

Two years of solid data draw clear lines between vaccination status and infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. We are now at the edge of winter—the same time when COVID-19 cases surged during the last two years, and booster uptake is very disappointing. An October 25th article in The Atlantic reported that fewer than 20 million Americans had availed themselves of the updated booster shots, only 8.5% of those eligible.

As discussed in a prior blog, circumstances are particularly problematic this fall because of the early rise of both the flu and RSV, in addition to COVID-19, currently referred to as a “tripledemic” of respiratory illnesses. Secondary to pandemic fatigue, Americans’ interest in COVID-19 news has all but disappeared. Many don’t realize that we are still losing more than 300 Americans a day to COVID-19. If experience is any predictor, things will get worse this winter due to holiday gatherings, before improving later in the new year.

The Role of Testing

In January 2022, Time magazine featured an interesting article on the importance of testing, theorizing that, “…if 2021 had been the year of the vaccine, 2022 should be the year of testing.” The article reviewed a history of COVID-19 testing in the U.S., with its false starts and missteps, and poor communication. The article pointed out that testing has always been a way out of the pandemic—you can’t know whether you have an infection if you don’t test, and you won’t take further precautions if you don’t know you’re infected/infectious.

Since that time, COVID-19 testing has often been in the news, whether we’re questioning the numbers of infections or considering the workplace implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for employers and employees alike. The original contention of the Time article remains accurate—testing is a way out, a way to go from unmanageable pandemic to manageable endemic.

Ultra-Fast COVID-19 Detection Sensor

Employers spent much of 2021 and 2022 year to date making sure their COVID-19 policies were responsive, adaptable, safety focused, and consistent with their many responsibilities. How can any business owner be sure of their liability for COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality? How can any sponsor of large-format public events be comfortable about their events not turning into so-called “superspreading events?”

The time is right for EviroTECH and its high-quality testing devices. Our scientific team has done the hard work to ensure you have the equipment you need for your testing protocols. Whether you’re screening employees to help ensure day-to-day workplace safety, testing workplaces so that effective and timely remediation can be deployed, or testing event spaces to prevent a superspreader, EviroTECH can help you make informed decisions in a post-pandemic environment. We are your partner in human and environmental resource safety.

EviroTECH is committed to finding and developing new medical technologies that offer reliable solutions for medical testing needs and help combat viruses, diseases, and infections.